Missouri’s first month of adult use sales in February 2023, at nearly $72 million, exceeded each of Illinois’ monthly sales totals in the state’s first nine months of its adult use market being open. With just half the population of Illinois and only 50 active cultivation licenses, Missouri has managed to swamp Illinois’ early phase sales by focusing on “quality, selection, and access,” according to Jack Cardetti, spokesperson for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association.
Cardetti pointed out the advantages in the Missouri cannabis community, not the least of which is reduced fees for medical cannabis cards and lengthening the medical card renewal period to three years. Moreover, adults age 21 and over can buy up to three ounces of product at one time and can possess the same amount, more than the typical one or two ounce limit in many states.
Asked about the competitive environment, Cardetti noted Missouri is just the third Midwestern state to allow adult use cannabis sales. He was quick to point out that in the first month of sales in Missouri, Illinois “out-of-state sales fell,” suggesting that Missouri’s adult use retailers captured some demand that was previously going over the border to Illinois. “I think Missouri will be the happy medium,” referring to the state’s geographical location between Illinois and Kansas. While Missouri does not, at this point, honor medical cards from out-of-state, Cardetti thinks his state will enjoy out-of-state medical demand in their adult use market, saying “we think we will have a decent presence in the medical market.” He did not dispute what sources have said regarding high quality and low prices in Missouri.
Cardetti laid out some of the benefits to the state saying “200 cities and counties have the right [to impose up to] a 3% tax,” and the tax issue is on local ballots. Missouri charges a 6% sales tax on adult use sales and 4% on medical sales. In addition to low recreational cannabis taxes, Cardetti said Missouri has already moved to make the wholesale cost of goods sold deductible on state taxes, further supporting licensed cannabis businesses.
Missouri is going to be a player in the midwest cannabis industry with lower prices and better quality than its eastern neighbor, only medical cannabis to the north, and two states with no legal cannabis on its western border. Missouri also touches Oklahoma and Arkansas, two states with medical programs but no adult use markets. The “Show Me State” is going to be showing the Midwest how to be competitive in the cannabis industry.
To understand the Illinois cannabis sales history, visit the recent post Decline in Illinois Cannabis Sales to Out-of-State Residents as Competition Grows or dive into the data with our Interactive Chart with sales history for Illinois